Zachary Siegel at The Nation interviews Ron Purser, whose new book McMindfulness examines "examines how spiritual practices and self-care became tools for corporate compliance." Well, when corporations place all the emphasis on "how you can deal with stress at your job," they not only erase their own responsibility for the stress they cause at your job through their terrible management, they condition you to "be content with injustice and inequalities that pervade society." Really, you're a lot less stressed when you have sick days, money in your savings account, and access to health care. That's not to say you shouldn't do deep breathing every once in a while -- indeed, I give this advice to my trolls often! -- but all this emphasis on coping keeps us from remaking our world into one that doesn't demand so damn much coping.
You know all those polls that just ask people if they consider themselves conservative, moderate, or liberal? Well, Jim Naureckas at FAIR, in making a larger point about what certain classes of voters want, links to a Pew Research Center poll that actually evaluates whether you're conservative, moderate, or liberal by your actual stands on actual issues. And what do we learn? That "56 percent of self-identified 'moderates' picked mostly liberal policies, as did 30 percent of 'conservatives' and 21 percent of those who said they were 'very conservative.'" I'd have framed Pew's issues differently -- they include no allusion to taxes on the rich, for example, and the liberal position on clean air/clean water regulations is less that the "costs are worth it" and more that they save money in health care costs -- but I think Pew's findings better correlate with our lived experience than the let's-all-get-along-with-evil-corporatists pablum our media generally serves up.
Mike Ludwig at TruthOut reminds us that making folks with felony convictions pay fines before getting their voting rights back is a "modern-day poll tax.". No, saying so does not amount to "letting people off the hook before they've paid their debt to society," because a) your voting rights should never be taken away in the first place and b) the quality of mercy demands that we take ability to pay into account when giving a sentence. Prisoners make absurdly little money while incarcerated, and while they're in prison they get gouged by medical appointments, phone calls, and high-priced goods in commissaries. Lawmakers would understand all of that, if they weren't so preoccupied with swinging their balls in our faces.
Ho hum, MSNBC (or, as Jeffery St. Clair calls it, "MSDNC") makes blatant errors in its apparent zeal to tamp down excitement about the Bernie Sanders campaign. Putting him third in a chart when he ranks second (or fourth when he ranks third) is Fox News-level BS, of course, but when Chuck Todd tells us Mr. Sanders lost five points in a poll when he actually gained five, or another program simply tacks on three points to Mr. Biden's showing in a poll just so it can put him in first, well, that's the kind of thing George Orwell warned us about. So, to sum: the same people who constantly tell us TEH BERNIEZ CAN'TZ TEH WINZ!!!!! have to fudge the data or lie about the data to make it seem like he "can't win," which should raise anyone's suspicions.
Finally, another day, another flatugasm from our President about how Barack Obama should be the one getting investigated, not him, for his "book deal" or something. Here's the thing, though: "(f)rom day one, they've looked into everything we've done" is exactly how democracy is supposed to work! They work for us, and they're supposed to check the power of the Executive branch! Is there no one in his Administration who can tell him how he sounds? Or are they all telling him that since he sounds like his most self-pitying votaries, it's OK? It's certainly enough to make you miss the crude artistry of Mr. Nixon, who famously said that he was OK with the media putting him under a microscope, but not a proctoscope.